Get the skinny on weight-and-balance apps

August 11, 2014

For those who struggle with calculations needed to do proper weight and balance, take a look at these five apps that help automate the process. These are not endorsements of any app.

C152 Weight and Balance Calculator (free in iTunes)—To use this iPhone/iPad app, users enter the data for the aircraft and the total weight, and CG limits are computed. Items that are out of limits give an alert, so users can change aircraft loading.

iFly Weight & Balance for iPad (free in iTunes)—This app starts by presetting the starting weight and CG for users. Then users add passengers, baggage, takeoff fuel, and landing fuel information.

Takeoff Performance Estimator ($6.99 in iTunes)—An app that’s optimized for the iPhone 5, it specifically targets club pilots of single-engine, high-wing Cessna aircraft. The estimator provides the takeoff distance required without math or extrapolations by creating aircraft in a library with takeoff performance information under standard atmospheric conditions. The user chooses an aircraft and enters the prevailing takeoff conditions, such as wind, takeoff weight, and obstacle height. The app then applies algorithms based on aerodynamic formulas to estimate the actual performance under the prevailing conditions.

iBriefing ($9.99 in iTunes)—This app, optimized for the iPhone 5, features a tools page that includes great circle route calculation, weight and balance, fuel planning, wind calculations, true airspeed calculation, pressure altitude and density altitude calculation, and  fuel quantities conversion.

Socata TB Weight and Balance Calculator (free in iTunes)—Use this iPhone/iPad app to handle weight-and-balance calculations for Socata’s complete TBM family. The calculator supports both U.S. gallons/pounds/inches and metric liters/kilograms/centimeters.

This week’s columns had all iOS apps. Please send in Google Play and Windows Store apps here. Future columns will cover apps in the following categories: member favorites, charts and maps, FBOs/services, games, instrument simulators, maintenance, and radar.  See the complete list of apps covered here.

Benét Wilson

Benét J. Wilson | AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor

AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.